Cockroaches

American Cockroach
American Cockroach
(Periplaneta americana)

This is the largest of the pest species, growing to around 40 mm in length. It is red-brown, with fully developed wings that cover the abdomen, and it will fly in warm conditions.

The species produces fewer generations per year than does the German cockroach and infestations therefore build up more slowly. Because of the large size of both adults and nymphs, people are less tolerant of this species of cockroach in their homes or businesses, and the cockroaches also find fewer places inside to hide in the daytime.

When established in homes they are normally found in wall voids or behind cupboards, in under floor areas or in roof spaces. If sanitation is poor they can establish and breed inside homes but normally they enter living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms when they are foraging for food and water.


German Cockroach
German Cockroach
(Blattella germanica)

The German cockroach is the most common cockroach in houses and apartments in Australia. Their rapid reproduction rate enables a few individuals to become a pest problem over one season. Adults are about 15mm long and first instar nymphs (that is, the first nymphal stage) are about 3 mm long.

They are able to live and breed in the numerous cracks and crevices and hiding places present in most kitchens, bathrooms and living areas. Their small size means that they are initially tolerated by humans, many of whom do not recognize early nymphal stages as cockroaches.

Like other pest cockroaches, German cockroaches are nocturnal and forage for food and water at night when they are less likely to be seen. The German cockroach is the most difficult pest cockroach species to control.


Australian Cockroach
Australian Cockroach
(Periplaneta australasiae)

Although named the Australian Cockroach, this species actually originated in Asia. This particular species of cockroach is found world-wide. The Australian Cockroach has yellow markings on the thorax and streaks on the base of its wings. This separates this species from the similar American Cockroach.

The Australian cockroach averages around 30mm to 35mm in size. Their antennae are slightly larger than their body size. Despite their tough body, the cockroach is quite flexible and able to bend which is one contributing factor to allow it to fit through small spaces.

These cockroaches prefer warmer climates, and usually tend to stay outdoors. In cooler climates or during winter months, they may seek shelter indoors. The Australian Cockroach feeds on just about anything, however they reportedly feed on plants more than other cockroach species.


Smoky Brown Cockroach
Smoky Brown Cockroach
(Periplaneta fuliginosa)

This species is similar to the American cockroach but slightly smaller, 3.0-3.5cm in length and slightly wider. They are good fliers so they can enter the house through openings in the attic or open windows. They also can enter through cracks and crevices near a light source at the building because they are attracted to the light.

Once inside, they can be found anywhere, but they prefer moist warm areas. They feed on anything of organic matter once inside the house, but will eat other food substances. The smoky brown cockroach is most commonly found outdoors where the area is protected, moist, dark, and warm. These areas can be tree holes, loose mulch, vines, ivy, and woodpiles or attics with moisture problems. This cockroach loses moisture more often than other species so it needs to stay somewhere with moisture readily available.

 

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